photos by Vibeke Johnson
text by Laura Rose
posted May 27, 2009
This photo exhibit captures moments and scenery of Delilah’s most recent Visionary Belly Dance Retreat, which took place in Hawaii, Janurary, 2009. Each retreat, about 10 days in length, features a guest instructor and theme. This year, participant’s explored "The Belly Dance Entertainer" working on a variety of styles with Princess Farhana, Delilah, and Laura Rose. All workshops centered around the idea of creating something for one’s audience. Costumes, make-up, stage presence and even a playful day exploring Burlesque character were all saluted at this retreat. Bellydancer and photographer Vibeke Johnson captured the following pictoral story.
Each year, the different themes draw different characters for a wide variety of reasons.
- Some Bellydance fanatics just can’t get enough!
- Women who’ve never belly danced before answer some strange call or spark.
- Seasoned professionals looking for new inspiration.
Vibeke uses the back and white format to capture these women. She immortalizes the different faces and stories with a cast of old world glamour (perfect for the theme).
Brandy Briggs and her instructor, Ahva, cast off their warm coverups of South Dakota.
Princess Farhana’s stage makeover was Verna’s first time indulging in this kind of extreme femininity.
Artemis finds divine inspiration on Lord Shiva on the way to the dining lanai.
Vibeke’s sepia treatment seems to transport Laura Rose and Princess Farhana back in time.
Valeria, Bellydancer and fitness instructor from Montana, uses this fantastic bindi set for an exotic transformation!
The big island of Hawaii is sacred ground to walk upon. Seven minutes as the crow flies from the location of the retreat, molten rock flows into the ocean. Endless blue waves lap against the cliffs just across the street. Everywhere is evidence of the destruction that lava can cause. Relentless, colorful and bountiful life springs from the sparkling black rock giving the dance a depth and inspiration we cannot always find back home in the city.
Moments In Time
Vibeke has an eye for capturing the essence of a moment. Her soft and friendly energy lets her camera gently slip into our fields of being, without becoming obtrusive. The friendships made, the concentration exerted, the passion witnessed, and the souls bared, were all evident in her film.
With a little maribou and a lot of humor, dancers play dress up the one day featuring Burlesque.
Delilah experiencing tarab (feeling of ecstasy) on our last night showcase.
Ready for more?
- 5-14-09 Know Your Venue, Style & the Savvy Performance Artist
Personally, I believe that to pull off something dangerously edgy and thoughtfully shocking (while still providing entertainment) you might need to offer them something as well. Something like, oh, say…skill!
- 2-19-00 Honoring Our Connection Between Navel and Nasal
People looked at us strangely, wrinkled their brows and said "Aromatherapy and what?"
- 9-8-05 Belly Dance, Burlesque and Beyond: Confessions of a Post Modern Showgirl
“BUT WAIT!!!” I can hear you screaming, “ BURLESQUE IS STRIPPING!”
- 11-17-02 Tease-O-Rama, A Weekend of Burlesque in Old North Beach
Curious to learn if women were drawn to stripping for some of the same reasons they are drawn to bellydance…
- 2-18-00 Pele’s Gift
As Nona began to demonstrate the first dance, I noticed many gestures in common with Central Asian dance. I felt as if another piece of our giant dance puzzle had fallen into place when Nona gestured
to her heart and said, "the real hula comes from here."
- 11-30-05 Paradise Found at Habibi Hawaii 2005
Azure skies and sun-kissed palms provided the perfect backdrop for Habibi Hawaii, Honolulu’s Premier Bellydance Festival and Celebration.
- 2-23-03 Hawaii Workshop
Floor Work is a moving Yoga, and as in Yoga, one must let his/her body grow into more flexibility which develops with practice.
- 5-26-09 Bellydancing Fashionably
Always remember that you’re representing a country’s culture! Sometimes, less is more; sometimes, more is less.”
- 5-17-09 Ahmed Adaweya My Introduction to Shaabi
Where once he was known as a master plumber, he had now become a master of Saltana.
- 5-11-09 Ask Yasmina #6 : Abhinaya, Personal Journey, What’s Missing?
Tapping into the source will change the quality of your movement, your interpretation of the music and your emotional connection to the movement and the music.
- 5-5-09 One Hip in Each Camp, My Experience of Working in Both the Arabesque Dance Company and the Arabesque Orchestra
My dancing is fuelled by my understanding of the music and now, my playing is influenced by the emotions I experience when I dance. It is a cyclical experience which has been boosted by this incredible opportunity to work with some of the most talented Arabic musicians on the scene.
- 5-3-09 The Quintessential Performer: Attitudes for the Stage
What can you rightfully expect of an audience of persons who are not, themselves, involved in performing (or related to you)?